Trusty, crusty French baguette gains world cultural heritage status


The humble baguette, France's staple bread, on Wednesday made it onto the United Nation's world cultural heritage list.

In the words of President Emmanuel Macron, the French national symbol is "250 grams of magic and perfection”.

The Paris-based UN agency voted to include the "artisanal know-how and culture of baguette bread" on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which already includes around 600 traditions from over 130 countries.

The bread sticks, with their crusty exterior and soft middle, have remained a quintessential part of French life long after other stereotypes like berets and strings of garlic have fallen by the wayside.

'Daily ritual'

This "celebrates the French way of life: the baguette is a daily ritual, a structuring element of the meal, synonymous with sharing and conviviality," said Unesco chief Audrey Azoulay.

"It is important that these skills and social habits continue to exist in the future."

One legend has it that the bakers of Napoleon Bonaparte came up with the elongated shape to make it easier for his troops to carry, while another posits that it was actually an Austrian baker named August Zang who invented the baguette.

(with wires)

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